Monday, May 29, 2023  |



Weekend Review

Fighters Network


Andre Berto: We knew the WBC welterweight titleholder could punch and box. We didn’t know about his heart, at least not to this degree. He seemed to be lost against Luis Collazo on Saturday early in the fight yet found a way to weather the nasty storm, adjust and come out the winner. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine him beating fighters like Antonio Margarito or Paul Williams (if he comes back down to 147) but a warrior this determined could never be overlooked.


Bill Clancy: No doubt here. The judge who scored a very close fight 116-111 in favor of Berto made a mockery of Collazo’s colossal effort. The two other judges scored it 114-113 for Berto and HBO’s Harold Lederman, a former judge, had it 115-112 for Collazao. Yet this guy has Berto winning nine of the 12 rounds? To be as fair as possible, Berto landed the crisper punches; it can be argued that he won. Just not to that extent.


Luis Collazo: Let’s hope this is the case. This is Collazo’s third disappointing setback in a major fight. Going in, we wondered whether this was his last chance. However, no one who fought so bravely and gave a world titleholder absolute hell for 12 rounds should be shut out of the title picture. Collazo must now show the same resilience out of the ring by putting this behind him and focusing on what could still be a bright future.


Leonilo Miranda: Some fighters who build impressive records in Mexico or South America come to the U.S. and enjoy considerable success. Others are exposed as pretenders. It appears that Miranda is in the latter group. He came from Sonora, Mexico with an intriguing record of 30-0 (28 knockouts) but, displaying raw skills, he was knocked out with one punch by former Puerto Rican Olympian Orlando Cruz on Friday in Tulsa, Okla.


Victor Emilio Ramirez over Alexander Alekseev: Ramirez is in the opposite camp from Miranda. Ramirez had never fought outside his native Argentina yet went to Germany and made a then-unbeaten prospect from Russia with an impressive amateur pedigree quit after the ninth round Saturday. The fight was for the interim WBO cruiserweight title.


Amir Khan vs. Marco Antonio Barrera The fight, which will take place in March in the UK, took a lot of boxing observers by surprise. Khan is still rebuilding after Breidis Prescott knocked him out in September. This would appear to be a significant gamble for him, although a victory would be a nice step in his career. What does Barrera stand to gain by fighting a prospect? We don’t think of him as an “opponent,” even if he’s in decline. The only conclusion is that he’s making a lot of money.


Antonio Reyes: No one was more courageous than Berto and Collazo on Saturday. However, Reyes, hired to get knocked out in former Olympian Gary Russell Jr.’s pro debut on Friday, was right there with them. Reyes had no chance to win against his quick, skillful opponent and took bad beating. However, he refused to roll over. He kept fighting until Russell finally rendered him helpless. It was determined later that Reyes had a broken jaw.


Nick Casal: Casal, once an intriguing prospect, became a punch-absorbing sponge against spirited Mexican Marvin Quintero on Friday. Casal seemed utterly unable to avoid getting hit before finally acknowledging it by quitting after the third round. Casal seemed to stun his cornermen when he instructed them to end the fight because he didn’t appear to be seriously hurt. However, he would’ve taken a bad beating had he gone on.


Jose Luis Castillo vs. James Wayka: Castillo, the former two-time world titleholder, has been reduced to fighting no-names in Mexicali after losing two of his previous three fights. There’s nothing wrong with giving your compatriots a nice show but it looks as if Castillo is fighting simply to fight. He was knocked out by Ricky Hatton in 2007 and easily outpointed by Sebastian Lujan two fights later.


Two: Tommy Morrison and Mia St. John, both 40, will be featured on a Jan. 31 card in Laramie, Wyo. Morrison, who faces journeyman Corey Williams, hasn’t had a major fight since he was knocked out by Lennox Lewis in 1995. He has fought only three times since. St. John faces Veronica Mahling in her ongoing comeback after losing three consecutive fights in 2006 and 2007. She’s 2-0 since.


Collazo, on one judge's 116-111 score in favor of Berto: “No way in hell the fight was so one sided.”

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]

Andre Berto photo taken by Tom